Category Archives: Wildlife

Therapy Drones Are Helping Injured Falcons Fly Again

Gordon Court, a Provincial Wildlife Status Biologist in Alberta, went to pick the bird up after a farmer noticed it walking in his field. When he arrived, the bird had an open wound and couldn’t fly because of a damaged shoulder—possibly from an earlier fight. “She’d been on the ground a long time and hadn’t eaten,” he told me. “I didn’t think she’d survive the first night.”

But the bird did, and Court eventually brought it to Schwartze. Wildlife rehabilitation centres usually end up caring for injured birds, but most centres understandably lack the time and expertise to use a drone to retrain them. Schwartze has the skill set—he uses a standard drone with four whirling blades to train his own birds, a peregrine falcon and a goshawk, and he successfully rehabilitated an injured peregrine last year. Schwartze put the gyrfalcon on a gruelling four-month exercise program.

Read the full story here.

A drone to save fawns from a gruesome death.

Using a thermal camera mounted on a drone, an École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne student has found a way to spot fawns before the harvester passes through. He does not charge for this service, which effectively eliminates the risk of animals being accidentally killed in the fields.

“When they hear the tractors coming, fawns lie down in the tall grass rather than running away. They’re almost invisible. We’d just bought a thermal camera, and the idea came to me immediately,” says Jobin. Up to now, farmers called on gamekeepers and hunters – who are responsible for protecting wildlife as well as managing it – to clear the fields of the animals.

Read the full story here.

Drone buzzes Grizzly Bear 399, pilot gets away. Grand Teton National Park, Oxbow Bend, Wyoming.

Authorities are on the lookout for a person who buzzed grizzly bear 399 and her two cubs with a drone Wednesday evening.

The flight over Grand Teton National Park’s famous matriarch grizzly occurred near Oxbow Bend, and took place while a contingent of people were swarming the area trying to get a peep. Amid the bustling scene, the scofflaw managed to retrieve the drone and skedaddle without being detected by “wildlife brigade” volunteers and law enforcement rangers on site.

“We have no information to go on,” Teton Park spokeswoman Denise Germann said. “So we’re asking anybody who may have some information to share it with us.”

Read the full story here.

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